‘Discrimination has no place in our society’ – President Ali in Phagwah message

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali has implored the nation to let the vibrant Phagwah festivities serve as a reminder of the deep-rooted respect and love that binds Guyanese together.

He stressed that this spirit of inclusivity must prevail, leaving no room for discrimination in a society endowed with such a rich cultural heritage.

President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali

“As we celebrate Phagwah, let it serve as a manifestation of our shared respect and love while also signalling that we do not judge one another by the colour of our skin. Let us reaffirm our commitment to building a united Guyana. Discrimination based on skin colour, hair texture, or religion has no place in our society,” the head of state said in a statement on Monday.

The president said that the festival aligns with the government’s aim of building a country in which Guyanese of all ethnicities, backgrounds, and cultures can prosper.  

“Let us pledge to create a Guyana where everyone can partake in and celebrate our collective prosperity and diversity. I urge all Guyanese to embrace the spirit of Phagwah not just today but every day. Let us work together to foster a society where inclusivity, equality, and respect reign supreme. Together, let us build a One Guyana where every individual can flourish, regardless of their background or beliefs,” the Guyanese leader urged.

He also acknowledged visitors from around the world who are partaking in the festivities, adding that their presence enriches the celebration.

“Phagwah holds immense religious significance for Hindus. It marks the victory of good over evil. This festival also signifies the arrival of Spring, a season of renewal and rejuvenation, where nature bursts forth in vibrant colours, mirroring the hues of Phagwah celebrations. The festival reminds us that we must share with others the bounty that nature has bequeathed to us,” the head of state remarked.

The president pointed out that the immense significance of Phagwah extends beyond religion. He said the holiday represents the dissolving of cultural and racial barriers into vibrant canvases of colour, signifying unity and harmony.

“The showering of colourful powders and the sprinkling of liquids not only add to the merriment but also serve as a reminder that in celebrating Phagwah, we embrace our shared humanity,” the president underscored.